Ellie and Papa, off to find some Easter fun on her big day!
The main event was an Easter egg hunt, and we arrived with just enough time to find a good spot to line up for the little kids' portion of the hunt. They had Hemming Plaza all closed off, but we could see eggs-a-plenty, just waiting to be hunted!
Eggs lining the fence
Eggs throughout the play space
Eggs all over the plaza
When we were given the go-ahead for hunting, things got a little hectic and Ellie got a little spooked by the crowds.
Egg hunting chaos
Sticking close to Papa
So, we hung out at the perimeter and let her gather the eggs perched on the fence before venturing into the madness.
This is more her style.
Of course, by the time she worked up her nerve to actually enter the egg hunt, all the eggs were gone. But, thanks to our fence trick, both she and E.J. left with a few eggs in their baskets! (This was E.J.'s first egg hunt, after all!)
After the hunt
LOOK AT THIS BABY. LOOK AT HIM. I CANNOT EVEN WITH THIS BABY.
While most people were still milling about the egg hunt, we took advantage of thinner crowds at Sweet Pete's Candy Shop across the street, and dashed over there to meet the Easter Bunny. Ellie was as thrilled as ever...
"Oh, my dear old friend!"
She could stay there all day.
...but E.J. was less excited.
He does not yet understand the delightful tradition of handing our children over to an enormous rabbit.
After the bunny, we took advantage of the chocolate-covered-marshmallow-making station! When Ellie reached the front of the line, the employee who was writing the children's names on wax paper noticed that Ellie was wearing her "Happy Birthday" button from the Disney Store and asked if it was her birthday. When we told her it was, she asked Ellie if she liked Frozen. Well, obviously, yes, because Ellie is a girl under the age of 10 years living in the year 2015. So yeah, she likes Frozen. The girl then told us to wait just a minute. She left and when she came back, she gave Ellie a Frozen nightshirt! I can't remember her exact explanation but I got the impression someone had given it to her but she thought Ellie should have it for her birthday. Isn't that the nicest thing?!
Anyway, Sweet Pete also dipped a marshmallow in chocolate for us, and then we were able to decorate it with sprinkles. Ellie used her trademark light sprinkle touch.
And by "light touch," I clearly mean "dumped sprinkles onto the candy by the spoonful."
With her finished product
E.J. hanging out with Papa during the candy-making fun
This Sweet Pete's location is new. We have been to one of their toddler cookie-making classes before, but in their old location. I just love the new spot, right off Hemming Plaza, in a big multi-story home with wraparound porch. The decor is delightful and there is candy as far as the eye can see. They also have a restaurant now that we'll have to check out sometime!
One small corner inside Sweet Pete's
One of the chandeliers upstairs
E.J. and Eric in the candy shop
The crowds started to get a bit oppressive in the candy shop so we went back across the street to Hemming Park, and then walked down to the Jacksonville Landing and back. It was a beautiful day and we weren't quite ready to head home yet!
Fun with family!
Look at this dapper little guy!
Ellie and Papa
Baby in a baseball hat!
After our walk, however, we were ready to wrap things up and made our way back to our cars. It was a very fun Easter-y morning downtown, and a great activity for Ellie's birthday!
Happy birthday, Ellie!